You have stockpiled the necessary emergency supplies. You have planned a steady supply of water in your bug-out location. But, what about the energy and power options? If you’re depending on a generator or hoping to fuel up a vehicle, you’ll need to learn how to siphon gas when you run out.
You may run out of fuel while heading away from the center of the disaster. What then?
The thing is, you can’t depend on the gas stations when the power is out during an emergency like an EMP strike. Moreover, gasoline can’t be stored for more than six months. Even when kept in a sealed plastic container, it’ll get oxidized and degrade over time.
There’s a way out though. And it involves the technique of siphoning gas.
Hopefully, you’ll find plenty of abandoned vehicles with gas in their tanks during a crisis. In short, siphoning is a useful survival skill for tackling a wide range of real-life scenarios.
However, if you think siphoning gas is as simple as it’s shown in the movies, think again.
But I’m jumping ahead.
Let’s start with the basics of how to siphon gas when you need to survive.
Facts About Siphoning Gas from Cars
Note, stealing gas through siphoning is illegal. So the techniques about how to siphon gas out of a car discussed here are to be used only when it comes to choosing between your life and death.
Frankly, you’ll hardly find a way of obtaining gas legally when shit hits the fan. This is why this skill can save your life and keep your family safe.
Now, siphoning gas from new cars is a lot difficult.
The reason is, newer cars and SUVs have emergency valves or anti-siphon valves in the fuel tank that prevents the gas from draining out in case of an accident. The tank filler necks are also designed in a different manner. So in most cases, old-school techniques of siphoning gas aren’t effective.
In order to siphon gas from your tank, you’ll need a few tools or a gasoline siphon kit. On top of that, you’ll also need a fair bit of practice to perfect the skill.
The Science Behind Siphoning Gas
Before we start with the actual methods, here’s a look at the science behind siphoning gas from cars.
The entire process is based on a few simple principles of physics. Basically, you dip one end of a hose in the source fuel tank and the other end in the collecting container placed at a lower elevation. High air pressure in the tank will make the liquid flow into the hose and further into the gas can.
Once the flow starts, it’ll continue due to gravity and the force of cohesion between the liquid molecules. The use of a suction force, through the mouth or through a fuel pump can speed up the process. You may need a gasoline siphon kit for new cars, but the working principle remains the same.
Warning: before you start sucking gas out of an old vehicle, know that gasoline is toxic. Inhaling and consuming gasoline can damage internal organs and result in multiple adverse symptoms.
Quite simply, there’s no point in poisoning yourself with a mouthful of gasoline while there are safer ways to get the job done.
How to Syphon Gas?
When it comes to siphoning gas, you can choose from three basic methods- by air pressure, using a pump, or mouth-siphoning.
How to Siphon Gas out of a Car by Using Air Pressure?
For this, you’ll need two lengths of clear plastic tubing or a hose of 1-inch diameter. One of the hoses should be longer than the other to reach deep inside the tank. The other end of the hose can be connected to the gas canister where you’ll store the fuel. The other tube should reach a small distance within the tank.
In addition, you’ll use a piece of rag to create a seal around the tubing as they enter the tank. The process is simple. You’ll blow into the tank through the smaller tube to create a high-pressure zone inside the tank. This will make the gasoline flow out through the longer tube into the gas can.
Step1– Start by placing the tubes inside the tank. Make sure the longer tube is submerged inside the tank. Place the empty container directly below the gas tank.
Step 2– Create a tight seal around the tank opening and the tubes with the rag. This will help in increasing the pressure more easily. You can use a piece of damp cloth to make the sealing more effective.
Step 3– Now you need to blow air through the shorter tube to build up the pressure inside the tank. Make sure that you don’t breathe in through your mouth and inhale the poisonous gasoline fumes.
Step 4– Keep blowing in until you see the gas flowing out through the longer tube. Once the flow is steady, stop blowing. Gravity and the cohesive forces in the fluid will do the rest of the job.
Step 5– To stop the gas flow at any time, block the longer tube with your thumb and raise it out of the canister and above the tank. The remaining gas in the tube will drain back into the car’s gas tank. You can also remove the seal to lessen the air pressure and stop the fluid flow.
How to Siphon Fuel by Using a Gas Siphon Pump?
In this method, you use the same principle. The only difference is, you use a siphon pump to force the gas out, instead of using your breath. Keep in mind that these pumps are generally called “liquid transfer pumps”.
Step 1– Place the empty gas canister below the gas tank. Then, place one end of the clear tubing inside the tank and the other end inside the canister. Since these pumps are one-way devices, make sure to place the correct tubing inside the tank.
Step 2– Start pumping as per the directions provided by the hand pump manufacturer. Since each pump has a different make, the exact process can vary between brands.
Step 3– Once the canister is full, raise the end of the tubing above the gas tank to stop the flow. The leftover gas should drain back into the tank.
Step 4– Make sure you clean the tubes and the siphon pump to prevent any clogging from leftover gas. In case no soap is available, a dry wipe or a rinse should do the job.
How to Siphon Gas with a Hose By Mouth Suction
We have already looked at mouth or suction siphoning. Frankly, this is a dangerous method and should be used only as a last resort.
Most importantly, never swallow the gas or inhale the fumes. In case you feel dizzy, step away and take some time to recover.
You’ll only need a single piece of transparent, clear hose or tubing of 1-inch diameter for this method.
Step 1– Insert one end of the tube into the gas tank and make sure it’s submerged deep inside the gas. To check, you can blow in the tube. If you hear the bubbles, it’s deep enough.
Step 2– Now start sucking from the free end of the tube till the gasoline comes out. Place your fingers below your mouth, in order to crimp the tube and stop the flow. Remember, the whole thing happens very fast. So you need to be careful.
Step 3– Once you see the gasoline rising through the tube, crimp the tube and insert the end into the gas container immediately. Now you’ll get a steady flow of gas from the siphon hose. In case you see bubbles rising through the hose, you may need to redo the process. But make sure to empty the hose first before you start sucking again.
How to Siphon Gas From a New Vehicle?
With modern cars implementing checks in their fuel system to prevent fuel theft, the process of siphoning gas is much more difficult. The best way is to buy a gasoline siphon kit as a part of your survival gear. These kits are also effective for siphoning all types of fluid.
Also, they are designed to subvert the anti-siphon technology used in these vehicles. While such kits are big in size, they can be used for drawing fuel from the large gas tanks of any big truck.
Considering the massive boost this can give to your fuel stockpile in a post-apocalyptic scenario, a kit is worth the investment.
But how to get gas out of a car without a siphon?
Some vehicles have a small drain plug in the fuel tank. Disconnecting the plug can result in the draining of the fuel.
Lastly, you can try drilling a hole in the fuel tank by going under the vehicle. However, puncturing the tank by using the right tool from your multitool kit will take a lot of time and effort.
Note, both these methods require you to lift the car and prevent it from rolling.
Bottom line: when all bets are off, you need to do whatever it takes to survive.
Knowing how to syphon gas is a critical survival skill that will keep your lights burning in apocalyptic darkness and fuel up your bug out vehicle.
In truth, gas siphoning from some cars is easier than others. But with the right tools and some practice, you can prevent running out of fuel during an emergency. In case the automotive option is unavailable, you can try siphoning gas from machines like a lawnmower.
Now that you know how to siphon gas, it’s time to pick up the tools and start practicing.